Depending on what time of year you visit Budva Montenegro your experience will be drastically different. In October, we just missed the busy season. We heard that it turns into a wild party scene during the summer, and the beaches are packed shoulder to shoulder. To escape this, many people make a visit to the island turned luxury resort, Sveti Stefan. It is possible to drive or taxi easily from town. However, if you’re up for an adventure… Walking from Budva to Sveti Stefan on the Seven Bay Trail is the way to go!
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Budva to Sveti Stefan on the Seven Bay Trail
- Start: Budva Montenegro
- End: Sveti Stefan Island
- Distance: 9 km
- Time Needed: 3-5 hours
- Peak Season: May – September
- Pack: Bathing suit, sunblock, hat, camera, money for food, drinks, and bus or taxi back!
Budva to Sveti Stefan Beaches
As we said before, Budva Montenegro itself has plenty of action going on at the beach. There is a collection of nice beaches and coves that surround the beautiful old town.
Richard’s Head is a small beach directly in front of old town. Mogren is actually two beaches joined together by a tunnel and about 200 meters to the right of Richard’s Head. Make sure to take a picture next to the famous “Budva Dancer” which sits elegantly in front of Stari Grad.
Starting the Seven Bay Trail
Budva Montenegro wasn’t too crowded when we were there, but we’ve heard the beaches are packed like sardines in the summer. I can not overstate this enough! We had a completely different experience showing up in October.
If you head the other way now (to the left of old town) you’ll find a long stretch of beach filled with endless bars and water activities. This is the direction you’ll be walking to start the Seven Bay Trail.
The next beach you’ll find as you leave Budva Montenegro is Rafailovici. Once you pass through Slovenska Plaza you’ll reach the Duckley Gardens Apartments. It may look a tad sketchy from the outside but go through the tunnel under the Duckley Gardens complex. Here you’ll see many local works of art and history on display which we thought was pretty cool for a pedestrian tunnel!
Here’s where it gets a bit confusing. Coming out the other side you won’t immediately see Rafailovici Beach. It would be great if you could take a right, but there’s a security gate there for a resort hotel. For this reason, you must take a slight left as you’re leaving the tunnel and walk down the relatively unassuming pathway.
From the paved pathway, take the first right you can and head directly to the beach. Also named Becici Beach, Rafailovici is a long stretch of white sand with a much more relaxed scene than Budva. You’ll have to walk for a while. Yet, on the far end you’ll find some wonderful cafes and bars for food and drinks.
As you head to the next bay, you’ll see a uniquely structured rock sticking out of the ocean. This was an awesome place to stop and swim in between beaches! After the unnamed rock, you’ll pass through yet another long tunnel. Unfortunately, this one was much darker and not as interesting as the tunnel under Duckley Apartments.
Still, once you finally emerge you’ll be blessed with an incredible view overlooking Kamenovo Beach! Looking out over the beautiful Adriatic Sea, this is the point we finally felt like we’d made it out of the hustle and bustle of Budva. Again, we can imagine the long sandy beach was more crowded in the summer, but we had it all to ourselves that day.
Here’s where your trip from Budva to Sveti Stefan gets a little sketchy again. From the end of Kamenovo Beach, you must hike the stairs to the highway. It would be awesome if they built a path that stayed on the beach, but for now it is what it is!
Once you get to the highway, hang a right and follow the road until you see Przno Bay. In all honestly, walking the highway was a little frightening with cars and buses flying by. I think we even transitioned to a light jog at one point because the road was so tight. Nonetheless, the stairs will eventually appear so take those down to Przno Beach.
Note: We have been updated by a reader that they have actually put the path in! Now you can follow the path to the end and you will only have a very small part of the highway to walk on.
Maybe the smallest and quietest stop on the Seven Bay Trail, Przno is a welcomed change from the loud music and party scene of the beaches prior. Local seafood restaurants and cafes hug the coast, and the water is crystal clear! This was by far our favorite stop on the Seven Bay Trail aside from the obvious (Sveti Stefan Island).
The colors and local vibes of Przno were the perfect mood-setter for the rest of our walk. Take a swim, and even snorkel out to a small island offshore before continuing on.
If you’re reading this on your walk from Budva to Sveti Stefan just know that you’re almost there! It’s a wild walk, but the Seven Bay Trail keeps getting better as you go on.
As you walk down the hill from Przno you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of Queen’s Beach. This part of the Seven Bay Trail gets is name because it was a favorite of the wife of former Yugoslavian King Alexander Karadjordjevic.
You can understand why she loved it so much as it’s surrounded by gorgeous cypress and olive trees. Unfortunately, this beautiful beach is restricted as it’s part of a private resort.
The only way to actually access this hidden paradise is by boat. We weren’t able to see much of the beach, but Aman Resorts also owns Sveti Stefan so you can only imagine how amazing it must be.
Since there is a Queen’s beach then I think you know the King had one, too! Otherwise known as Milocer Beach, this cove is also part of the collection of Aman Private Resorts. The former Yugoslavian King’s Villa is behind it which you can stay in at a hefty price. You shouldn’t have to pay a fee to get into this beach near Sveti Stefan, but they do charge 25 euros or more for a beach chair in the summer.
There is also a beautiful nature park surrounding it which is worth visiting. The bay itself is absolutely stunning, and it’s enclosed by rocks surrounding the multi-colored pebble beach. Would you expect anything different for the summer vacation spot of Yugoslavian royalty?
Budva to Sveti Stefan Island
Finally, we’ve made it all the way from Budva to Sveti Stefan! This magical island has an extensive history that’s perfectly intertwined with that of Montenegro’s coast. Legend has it, a fort was first built on Sveti Stefan Island in 1442. At this time the fort was primarily used to shelter local families from attacks by the Turkish invaders and pirates.
It was eventually inhabited by 12 families named the “Pastrovic Clan” who lived there for many years. Local families lived on Sveti Stefan Island up until the early 1900’s when it was turned into a luxury resort like you see today.
Sveti Stefan Island boasts three separate churches which are surrounded by famous stone buildings with red roofs. It is quite the spectacle to see, as people continuously try to stroll into the resort only to be turned away by security.
The only way to get onto Sveti Stefan without being a hotel guest is to make a dinner reservation. In the summer you can also pay 80 euros for a lounge chair on the private beach to the north. You’re much better off swimming at the beach for free in front of the Sveti Stefan, and taking in the view from water like we did.
If you couldn’t already tell, walking the Seven Bay Trail was both exhausting and quite an adventure. Nevertheless, it was all worth it once we caught our first view of Sveti Stefan!
Finishing the Budva to Sveti Stefan Walk
It took us almost 5 hours to do the walk from Budva to Sveti Stefan which included countless beach dips, a massive lunch, and several beach beers.
After a full day, it was time to make the trip back to town. It was getting dark so walking back was out as an option. So how should you plan to get back?
Getting Back to Budva from Sveti Stefan
Bus: There is a bus from Sveti Stefan to Budva for €2 per person. The bus is located up on the main road and the schedule changes with the seasons. It’s best to double-check the times online if you are planning to do this.
Taxi: The second option is the one we decided to do. Walking towards the bus stop a taxi pulled over and asked if we needed a ride. There are also taxi’s that stay near the entrance of Sveti Stefan. For €12 we took a 20 minute taxi ride back to town. As always when traveling, it’s smart to confirm the cost before getting in or at least ask for a ballpark number if it’s a meter.
Have any questions about walking from Budva to Sveti Stefan, or want to share your own experience on the Seven Bay Trail? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Budva Montenegro
Ultra Luxury (High End) –Hotel Azimut – If you aren’t going to spend $2,000+ a night stay on the luxury island the best next thing is overlooking it. Filled with all the amenities of a five star resort, amazing views, and close to several beaches.
Fun Vacation (Mid Range) –Maestral Resort & Casino – Remember the beautiful Przno Beach I mentioned earlier? Well this hotel has it’s own private section of the beach roped off for you to enjoy!
Travel Couple (Long Term Travel) – Guest House Villa Jovana – This is where we stayed on our visit to Budva Montenegro, and it was the perfect location only 15 minute walk from old town. The host was very welcoming, and the view from the balcony was awesome.
For more places to stay in Budva Montenegro you can explore the latest prices here!
Montenegro Travel Planning
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars for renting vehicles. A quick travel tip is to ask for a discounted weekly rate rather than booking 2-3 days.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. From food tours to skip the line entry passes!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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